Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Kyrgyz Rights Activist Jailed For Life Awarded Czech Human Rights Prize

Posted by Info on 09/03/2011

Azimjan Askarov, prominent ethnic Uzbek rights activist jailed for life over last year’s deadly violence in southern Kyrgyzstan is to be awarded a Czech human rights prize.

The Homo Homini prize, awarded annually by the Prague-based NGO People in Need to an individual in recognition of a dedication to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and nonviolent solutions to political conflicts.

People In Need head Simon Panek said Askarov had shown “unusual personal courage” in fighting for human rights in extremely difficult conditions.

Panek said it is “admirable” how Askarov has continued in the face of threats, detention, imprisonment, and physical abuse and added that he hopes the prize will draw attention to Askarov’s situation.

Askarov is the head of the local human rights group Vozdukh (Air), and his work over many years has focused on prison conditions and police treatment of detainees.

He had reportedly been documenting the killings and arson attacks that mostly targeted ethnic Uzbeks during the violence that struck southern Kyrgyzstan in June.

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